Steps to changing your last name

Now, I know I mentioned that I haven’t changed my last name yet. Changing your name seems like a daunting task. Think about how many things your name is on? Your license and passport are just the tip of the ice burg. Bank accounts, utilities, insurance, all different kinds of subscriptions, the list goes on forever. So, since I had to research and figure out how to change my name, I figured I should go ahead and share all of that with my KA Brides. 🙂

1. Certified marriage license

Before you can do anything else, you must have your original or certified marriage license. If you don’t have this, you can get one from the county clerk’s office where your license was filed. This was Lafayette County for us, and my mom dropped our license off after the ceremony. When we came back from our honeymoon, she gave us our certified license, and we keep it in a safe. If we lose it, we can get it replaces for $10 or $15.

2. Social security card

Change your Social Security card. You will have to fill out an application, and you will keep the same Social Security number, but your name will change. Then you need to mail the card to the Social Security office closest to you. You can find your office here.

3. Updated driver’s license

Next, you’ll go to the DMV to get your driver’s license changed. You’ll want to bring your old license, your marriage license and your new social security card. Then, presto, new license with your new last name! (If waiting forever at the DMV can be described as “Presto!”)

4. Changing your name on your bank accounts

After that, the next step for changing your name is to get all of your banking information updated. You’ll want to go to a local branch with your new driver’s license and marriage license. Not only will you want to change your name on your checking and savings accounts, but you’ll want to get updated checks and a new debit card. Some banks might charge you for a new debit card, just a heads up. Also – don’t forget about loans, mortgages or anything else affiliated with your bank.

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5. The domino effect

The list doesn’t get much shorter after steps 1-4, but it does get a whole lot easier. Some places may just take a phone call to get things switched about, but some might want a copy of your marriage license or new driver’s license. So, without further ado, the list of places to update with your new last name:

  • Employer – make sure payroll and HR are aware of the change
  • Post office – we don’t want mail and packages getting lost
  • Passport update – If you aren’t planning to travel for a bit, this one isn’t as high a priority. However, they can take a few weeks to come in, so keep that in mind for any future plans.
  • Utility companies. For some, this part has more steps than for others. Some towns include water and electric on one bill, and then a bill from the gas company. Other municipalities may have water and electric separate, so a total of three utility bills including gas. Just make sure to get them all.
  • Credit card companies will also need to be notified of the change. Names on cards and your license should match.
  • Landlord if you rent, and mortgage company if you own.
  • Insurance companies – auto, home and life. If you have medical insurance through your office, make sure you get that updated when you notify your employer of the name change.
  • Doctor’s office, dentist, eye doctor, etc.
  • Voter registration
  • Investment account providers
  • Schools and alumni associations
  • Airlines if you have any miles to switch over
  • If you have an attorney or any legal documents to update, don’t forget about them

6. If you’re an entrepreneur like me, don’t forget about your business information

I am the sole owner of my business, and everything is under “Kelsey Alumbaugh” so there is a lot to consider when updating my information. I updated my information when I re-branded at the beginning of the year, but that was the business name, not the owner’s name. It’s a lot of information, and I plan to ask my accountant for help with any IRS related updates. I’m not an expert in that area, and I would rather be safe than sorry!

Have questions about changing your name? Did I leave anything out? Let me know in the comments!

Want to get in touch?

If you’d like to book your session or wedding, you can contact me at kelsey(at)kelseyalumbaugh(dot)com. Check out my Instagram @kelseyalumbaugh ! And like me on Facebook to see the latest blog posts and wedding updates. 🙂 If you’re curious about the investment, you can check that info out here, but please feel free to reach out so I can better address your photography needs.

Originally published November 17, 2017. 

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February 8, 2021

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